Undo type 2 diabetes without intense weight loss

Undo type 2 diabetes without intense weight loss

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Type 2 diabetes remission is possible with slight weight loss

After the diagnosis of diabetes, people are usually recommended to exercise more, eat healthier and reduce their weight. However, losing weight does not have to be extreme. According to a new study, type 2 diabetes can be reversed by a relatively small weight loss.

People who achieve ten percent or more weight loss in the first five years after being diagnosed with type 2 diabetes have the greatest chance that their disease will be reversed. This is the conclusion of a study published in the journal "Diabetic Medicine" under the direction of the University of Cambridge (Great Britain). The results suggest that it is possible to recover from the disease without intense lifestyle changes or extreme calorie restrictions.

Positive lifestyle changes

According to a statement from the university, type 2 diabetes affects 400 million people worldwide. The disease increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, blindness and amputations. While the condition can be treated with a combination of positive lifestyle changes and medication, it is also possible that the high blood sugar that makes diabetes return to normal through significant calorie restriction and weight loss.

An intense low-calorie diet with a total daily intake of 700 calories (less than a cheeseburger) over an eight-week period has been associated with remission in nearly nine out of ten people with recently diagnosed diabetes and half of those with long-term illness.

However, there is little evidence that the same effect can be achieved through less intensive interventions that are more practical and potentially more scalable for the general population. To answer this question, a team led by researchers from the University of Cambridge examined data from the ADDITION-Cambridge study, a prospective cohort study involving 867 people with newly diagnosed diabetes aged 40 and 69 years.

Diabetes can be controlled and reversed

The scientists found that 257 participants (30%) were in remission after five years of follow-up. People who achieved 10% or more weight loss within the first five years after diagnosis were more than twice as likely to have remission than those who maintained weight.

"We have known for some time that it is possible to achieve remission in diabetes with drastic measures such as intensive weight loss programs and extreme calorie reduction," said Dr. Hajira Dambha-Miller from the Department of Public Health and Primary Care.

“These interventions can be very challenging and difficult for individuals to achieve. However, our results suggest that it could be possible to get rid of diabetes with a more modest 10% weight loss for at least five years. This is more motivating and therefore achievable for many people. "

Lead author Professor Simon Griffin added: “This reinforces the importance of weight management, which can be achieved by changing your diet and increasing physical activity. Type 2 diabetes, although chronic, can lead to significant complications, but as our study shows, it can be controlled and even reversed. ”

The team is currently conducting another study to find out how patients with type 2 diabetes can best achieve sustainable weight loss. (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.


  • University of Cambridge: Type 2 diabetes remission possible with 'achievable' weight loss, say researchers, (accessed: October 2, 2019), University of Cambridge
  • Diabetic Medicine: Behavior change, weight loss and remission of Type 2 diabetes: a community ‐ based prospective cohort study, (accessed: October 2, 2019), Diabetic Medicine

Video: How to reverse type 2 diabetes (October 2022).